News From the Art Room

Nov. 30 - Dec. 4

Annual Art Fundraiser

It's that time of the year again!

Or, if you'd prefer:'s that time of the year... again.

However you see it, it is indeed that time of the year: the time when we do our annual Art Fundraiser! Don't worry--this isn't the kind of fundraiser where you have to sell stuff or buy expensive things that you don't want or need. THIS is the kind of fundraiser where you buy cheap things that you planned on buying anyway: holiday themed-cards made by local artists and printed right here in Farmington. They're even gluten-free!

Cards can be purchased at the front office at Riverview or by ordering them via email with Mr. Stanley. Click the button below for all the information you can handle!

Holiday Card Fundraiser

Click here for all the information on the fundraiser that you can handle!


Rainbows and Banners

The Kindergarteners took a break from their rainbow paintings this past week to create banners for their teachers. In honor of Thanksgiving, Kindergarteners worked together to color banners for their teachers to show them how thankful they are. Working as a large group was a new and exciting experience for a lot of the students!

With the banners made and Thanksgiving behind us we'll finish up our rainbow paintings this coming week and will be sending those home soon.

1st Grade

Puzzle Pieces and complementary Colors

The first graders learned the biggest word of their lives last week: complementary colors. Complementary colors are colors that are opposites. We can figure out which are opposites by looking at the color wheel.

They put complementary colors into practice by drawing out simple puzzle pieces and painting them bold colors. Once dry, the students then needed to find the complements (opposites) for each puzzle piece and color designs into it. All of these puzzle-pieces should be sent home this week!

Next week the students are going to learn all about tints and shades with a winter-themed landscape painting in time for the holidays!

2nd Grade

Birch Trees, Northern Lights, and Lines

The 2nd graders, unbeknownst to them, have begun exploring one of the Elements of Design: Lines. We've tried creating and using lines in unique ways: first with scratches in paper with watercolor (the leaves they made in the Fall), then with masking tape that became birch trees, and now with torn paper and smeared chalk to become Northern Light-ish. The rest of the BEAUTIFUL birch tree paintings will be sent home later this week!

3rd Grade

Wassily Kandinsky and Designing Book Covers

Our 3rd graders took a look at famous Russian abstract painter Wassily Kandinsky and took inspiration from his approach to abstract art and created their own abstract works. This was a fascinating process to watch as students both strived with and struggled with the concept of non-representational art; that is, art that doesn't look like any thing, but rather is abstract. The results, though, were stunning.

When finished with the abstract art, 3rd graders started looking at two facets in designing a layout for a book cover: first, the lettering, and second the composition, that is, where everything goes, what size it should all be, what colors are used, etc. The books in question that necessitate covers are either the personal narratives or the fiction stories that students wrote back in their classrooms.

4th Grade

The Art Cycle

The 4th graders are moving toward being more self-directed in the art studio as we gradually release responsibility to them throughout the year. Currently students are coming up with their own project ideas, planning them out independently, creating them, and reflecting on them when finished. We call this our Art Cycle.

It goes something like this:

1. Students come up with an idea that they'd like to create.

2. Students develop a plan that includes a sketch and a list of needed materials.

3. Students conference with Mr. Stanley, explaining their idea.

4. Students create their artwork.

5. When finished students record a video of themselves presenting their artwork and briefly reflecting on the creation process. This video is stored on the students' art portfolio on Google Drive, along with a photo of their artwork.

6. Rinse and repeat.

Check in with your child and ask them about the artwork that they're creating. Some students are drawing, some are painting. Some students are building sculptures while others are editing homemade movies on the iPads. Some students are designing banners, while others are weaving on looms.

5th Grade

Art Cubes & the Art Cycle

The 5th graders constructed Art Cubes this fall--cardboard cubes that they were tasked with building and then decorated them with six pictures on each of the six faces. As the Art Cubes have been finishing up students have begun their venture into the Art Cycle (if the term Art Cycle is foreign to you scroll up and read the '4th grade' post!).

For the remainder of the school year the 5th graders will largely be self-directed in that they will be able to select their own projects to create and will make their own time-line for completing them as well. While that freedom is exciting, it's also very challenging. Some students have a difficult time deciding on what kind of art they want to make. Next time you check on with your child, ask her or him about what they're making in art or about what they'd be interested in making.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? Quips?

Mr. Stanley's the art teacher at Riverview Elementary School in Farmington, MN, and he can't believe it's already December. Seriously.